Parenting is no joke. As the summer draws to an end, I find myself dreading the back to school grind. It's not because my children are young and need me to do all the work. It's because I have teens and they have so many ideas about how to do things. As we prep for back to school, I realize that we have a lot of things to figure out. My youngest daughter is always trying to stay up late to watch one more television show. My oldest daughter is plotting to get up at 4:30 am to film her morning routine for her YouTube channel. Needless to say, I need help. So, I've developed a few tips and tricks over the years that help me survive the back to school grind. I hope they help you too.
Ever leave your favorite dinner spot after having a couple glasses of wine and wonder if you should really be driving? It is so easy to misinterpret whether or not you are over the legal limit. One moment you are at dinner and before you know it, you are in the back of a police car under arrest for driving under the influence. However, these tips will guide you to make smart and calculated choices before taking the wheel.
1. It takes your liver approximately one hour to process each drink
A "drink" is the equivalent to: a beer that is 12oz and is 4.5% alcohol by volume (abv), a glass of wine that is 5oz and is 4.5% abv and a shot of liquor that is 1.5oz and is 40% abv.
For each of these drinks, it takes the liver no less than one hour to process the alcohol that your body intakes. If you have more than one drink in an hour, you are playing with fire and it is probably not the best idea to get behind the wheel of a car.
2. Not consenting to a DUI test may resulted in a suspended license
When you are pulled over with the suspicion that you are driving under the influence, an officer will more than likely conduct a field sobriety test. If you fail the field sobriety test, an officer will ask you to consent to a urine or blood test which will determine your blood alcohol level. You have the choice to not consent to these tests, BUT if you refuse, your driver's license could be suspended for an extended period of time.
3. Driving with a suspended license, as a result of a DUI, may lead to jail time.
If you are charged and convicted of driving under the influence, your license will most likely be suspended for an extended period of time. If this is the case, we would HIGHLY recommend not getting behind the wheel of a car until your license is reinstated.
If your license is in fact suspended because of a DUI charge, and you are pulled over, jail time may be a very viable consequence. Please do not drive a car with a suspended license. The consequences are really just not worth it.
4. Uber or Lyft can be your best friends if you let them.
Yeah I know what you are thinking. The idea of having a stranger come and randomly pick you up and drop you off is a weird concept to many. However, taking an Uber or a Lyft is the much smarter choice if you think you might be slightly over the legal limit. The worst case scenario is that you leave your car parked overnight, and you spend an inconvenient thirty dollars back to your house and again the next morning to get your car. Isn't this the much better option though then getting pulled over, spending the night in jail, having to go to court, and having your license suspended? Jones & Associates certainly thinks so.
We've all seen "Law and Order". We've all seen those corny cop television shows that try to make reality as dramatic as possible. However, there is one saying in all those shows that holds true throughout life. "You have the right to remain silent". We hear this saying often, but we all need to focus on taking this saying to heart.
For example, have you even been driving in a car, and were maybe going faster than you should have been? An officer pulls you over, and you start to tense up as we all do when we see those flashing blue and red lights.
Then you remember: You have something on your person or in the glove compartment that you should not have with you.
The officer comes walks up to your window, knocks on it, and motions for you to roll down your window. The officer sees that your nervous, then proceeds to ask you a few questions. Finally, the inevitable question appears : "Do you have anything else in your car??" Guess what? you do not have to answer that question. You have a right to remain silent. You DO NOT have to answer the officer's question.
The officer then asks you that one scary question- "Do you mind if I search your vehicle?" Guess what? You can say no and be completely within your legal rights. You might be nervous and think that saying "yes" to that question is the right thing to say. But at the end of the day, you have a constitutional right to protect yourself. Silence can really be golden in a situation like that.
Lets talk about a different situation. A situation where you have been arrested and you are now in the back of a police car. Lets say in this scenario, the police arrest you because they suspect that you are selling drugs. In the back of the police car, its an eerie atmosphere of silence between you and the police officer. That police officer however, may start to ask you questions. Those questions will probably relate to the arrest that just occurred.. Guess what? You do not have to answer those questions either even though you are arrested. More importantly, you especially don't want to say anything if he DOESN'T ask you questions. You see your words may not be used against you if the officer didn't have the right to question you. They will always be used against you if you volunteer information.
The 5th amendment of the Constitution, more specifically your Miranda rights, allow you to remain silent when questioned by police. You always have the right to have an attorney present if the police are going to question you.
So what happens when a police officer asks you questions that make you uncomfortable after you are arrested.? You respectfully say "I am invoking my Miranda right to remain silent and request to have an attorney present." Or you can just say, "I want a lawyer." If all of that is too hard, keep it simple and just be quiet. When it comes to interactions with the police. Silence can really be golden. Most importantly, always know you have a right to counsel and call your lawyer at Jones and Associates, P.C.
A custody proceeding can be one of the most stressful topics in the courtroom arena. This kind of proceeding is not like a criminal proceeding where it affects your life, but rather your child’s life and the future role you will play in your child's life. However, this is not the kind of proceeding that you can procrastinate to prepare for till an alarm goes off in your head telling you that you should probably hire an attorney.
When you first receive a custody hearing notice in your mail, many thoughts go off in your head: Will I lose my children? How do I not lose my children? Did I do anything wrong for this to happen? These are all natural reactions which can be extremely daunting. When you are in a state of panic, your first thought may not necessarily be to call a lawyer. However, if you take a deep breath and collect your thoughts, calling a lawyer after you receive that notice will be the best decision you make that day.
The scheduled date for a custody hearing will be a least a few weeks from the date you received notice in the mail. If you call an attorney well in advanced, then this gives you time to meet with the attorney and discuss a strategy. Additionally, an attorney is able to provide services that you would not be able to provide for yourself. One of the services that the attorney can provide is filing for a continuance which can be accomplished in a day. If a judge grants a continuance, the original date for your custody hearing will be pushed to a later date in the future which will give you more time to prepare. Also, your attorney will be able to consult with the opposing attorney. When attorneys consult, they have the ability to negotiate terms and conditions. These negotiations may not even make a custody hearing necessary.
However, when you receive the custody hearing notice in the mail, and you do not take a deep breath and realize that the situation is still in your control, the situation will inevitably become more complicated. The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more your retainer could increase. And I am not talking about a couple of hundred dollars, I am talking about a couple of thousand dollars if you really wait till the last minute. Additionally, the longer you wait to hire an attorney, the less time counsel has to negotiate with the opposing attorney, file necessary court documents, and make this difficult time as least stressful for you as possible.
The moral of the story is that when you receive that notice in the mail from the courthouse, take a deep breath, realize the situation is still in your control, and then pick up the phone and let the lawyer guide you.
July 23rd is Parent’s Day!
Hello, I'm Sierra Walker, An intern at Jones and Associates Law, and today I will touch on the importance of having both parents in the picture. Actions can be taken to make sure that a child feels equally supported by both parents, even if there was a split in the family. My parent’s split after 20 years together back when I was in 8th grade. Like most in the situation that I was in, I was afraid that I wouldn’t see my father as much as I’m used to. Even though my father doesn’t wake me up everyday like back in grade school, we are still just as close as we were. My mother and father made it clear that they are both here to support and love me so I never felt like I had to pick a side. Within custody battles as a parent, it’s important to be civil and remember that the most important person in this battle is the child, the person you both are fighting for.
(Picture1: Dad and I, Picture 2: Mom and I)
If you are a parent, on this years Parent’s Day strive to embrace the title of a “parent” and celebrate yourself. Plan to make memories and show appreciation for all members of your family no matter how dysfunctional it may be. If you are a child, on this years Parent’s Day be sure to celebrate your parents and all that they do for you. Expressing your appreciation for your parents is the greatest gift that can be given.
I sit here writing this piece as I experience grief in its newest form. Last month we got the call that my 90 year old grandmother was unresponsive. We rallied around her bedside, but a few days later she took her last breath surrounded by family and in prayer. It's only been a few weeks and while I am still mourning and still struggling, I am thankful for so many things that our family did to make this process easier. Just as having my cousin, a nurse, there to explain things helped us, having a plan before we needed to make hard decisions was essential. I'm hoping that sharing some of what we did well help you when the time comes for you to say goodbye to a cherished loved one.
1. We talked to her before dementia set in and set up a will and power of attorney. The Power of Attorney meant that when it was time to find skilled nursing care, we didn't need an expensive court proceeding to have her admitted or get her benefits flowing. When she passed away, there was no question as to who was to inherit what.
2. We trusted the family members to act in their strengths. My Aunt is the level headed oldest child. She was the one to make day to day medical decisions and keep the family informed. My Mom has an accounting degree so she handled the finances and bill paying.
3. We set up a burial fund early. Having the burial fund made income unavailable for the Nursing Home to take. It also meant that we could plan the funeral knowing exactly how much was available before we ever signed a contract.
4. We talked during the final illness. Since we knew the end was coming, we were able to talk a little about what type of service we wanted and who we wanted to speak and sing. When the end came, no one had to make an immediate decision in the newness and numbness of grief.
There is no plan that can take this pain away. There is no preparation for the loss of a huge piece of your heart. I miss her wisdom, her sass, and just the sound of her voice. I miss that even as she loss so much of her memory, she always remembered that her granddaughter was a lawyer. I am so devastated that we have to deal with this, but I am so thankful that we are not like many of the families that make their way to my office. They are shell shocked, unprepared, confused. Learn from us. Planning doesn't take away the pain, but boy does it help.
Today is Insurance Awareness Day! Today we will shed light on the importance of adequate insurance within estate planning. Protecting your loved ones financially starts with ensuring you have all the areas in your life covered with varying policies and amounts of insurance. Crucial elements for an effective life plan should include adequate insurance coverage, an updated Will, and Power of Attorney.
An experienced Attorney can provide you assistance with covering your assets and protecting your loved ones financially. Call our office to set up your FREE consultation with a skilled Estate Planning Attorney today!
Happy Father’s Day! This week we will be highlighting ideas for how to get involved with the kids this summer during custody time. Make this summer memorable with these fun Father’s Week activities!
Take a day trip to the city and be sure to incorporate these stops!
1. Visit The Franklin Institute for a day of entertaining science education.
2. Stop by Liberty Bell for some historical educational fun!
3. Stop by the Spruce Street Harbor Park and spend some quality time with the kids on a colorful hammock.
Spend a day in the counties.
4. Check out the Crayola Museum to learn about a childhood staple.
5. Visit the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory for some new shared knowledge.
6. For a Glance at Wildlife plan a trip to the Elmwood Park Zoo
7. Visit Asher’s Chocolate Factory for a sweet treat this summer
Pull out a hose for some at-home water fun in the sun!
8. Learn how to make your own slip and slide on our Pinterest
Few things can upset a family more than a child being removed from the home. Whether it is a custody loss to another parent or grandparent, or the removal by a state agency, changes in child custody can be contentious. No matter what, you have to stay calm. Not only do the children pick up on the tension, but so do pets. In this unfortunate story, the family pet bit an officer and the officer shot and killed it. There is no telling how awful this case was, but no doubt the dog/officer encounter made it much worse.
Do not interfere with police doing their job. Document what happens and call your lawyer immediately. We can correct most mistakes so long as everyone is alive. Be safe out there.
Nationwide, 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren, according to census data. In Pennsylvania, there are many different directions grandparents can take to gain custody of their grandchildren.
According to Pennsylvania state code, grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody when the parent of the child is deceased, when the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their union, or when the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months resided with the grandparent. 23 Pa. C.S.A. § 5324
There are other situations where a grandparent can be awarded custody of their grandchild. In situations where a grandchild is in a dangerous environment, a grandparent or great-grandparent can file for primary custody of the child and obtain both legal and physical custody rights.
As a grandparent, if you are seeking to obtain custody or visitation of your grandchild or grandchildren, call our office to speak to an attorney today. Our skilled experienced lawyers eagerly await the opportunity to assist you with your journey into grandparenthood!
By Jacquie L. Jones
Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore issues of custody, criminality, and Probate especially in Delaware County, PA.